man wondering why lumber prices are so high

Why Are Lumber Prices So High?

Lumber prices have skyrocketed in the U.S., and this has impacted every facet of the construction industry, including roofing. Read on to better understand the causes behind the price increases and find out how higher material costs can affect the price of your new roof

Lumber Costs Surging

Lumber prices have jumped by 130% since before the coronavirus pandemic. According to the National Association of Home Builders, this increase has resulted in an estimated $36,000 difference in the price of a new single-family home. 

In turn, lumber futures have jumped an astonishing 375% over the past year. That essentially means investors have spent nearly four times as much on the same amount of wood compared to last year because the steep spike shows no signs of ending. 

What’s the Cause

Whenever prices move significantly up or down, it all comes back to an imbalance between supply and demand. Right now, increasing lumber prices are largely owed to inadequate domestic production and major lumber mill curtailments that pushed well into last year’s building season. But there’s more to the story. 

Construction of new homes has consistently increased for the last several years, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. As wealth leads to more construction throughout the world, lumber demand goes up, because it is a totally fungible good that plays a role in almost every economic situation in every part of the planet.

The pandemic also led to an increasing interest in DIY projects, which caused consumers to purchase more and more lumber. The outbreak also caused restaurants to ramp up construction of outdoor seating spaces to keep up with local regulations.

Just as pandemic lockdowns fuel lumber demand in some instances, the apparent end of the pandemic is also fueling increased demand. All sorts of businesses are starting to face the challenge of producing adequate supplies of services and goods to satiate resurgent demand in the face of interrupted supply chains. After huge disruptions, the intricate networks by which industries keep services available and shelves full have become compromised.

This is an important part of the COVID-19 narrative around the world. All industries rely on supply chains, and many have been disrupted or even destroyed in the past year. That’s on top of other material shortages unrelated to the pandemic that occur in all industries from time to time. It’s a perfect storm of low infrastructural capacity and high demand.

Although wood is fairly abundant in North America, lumber prices are so high right now because of the short-run dynamics of supply and demand.

stacked lumber

How it Affects Roofing Prices

Contractors see the impact of rising material costs in every aspect of the roofing industry, including shingles, metal and lumber. At the start of 2021, for instance, major roofing shingle suppliers informed U.S. contractors that prices would increase by 4% to 6%. And roofing contractors are expecting even more price increases as the year progresses. 

The bottom line is that the coronavirus outbreak has driven materials costs higher either directly or indirectly. For contractors, it’s simply impossible to avoid passing a portion of the rising material costs on to consumers. If it costs more to secure materials for your new roof, you can expect to have a higher bill.

With that said, this is no reason to put off getting a new roof. In fact, the opposite is true. With lumber prices expected to keep increasing, the longer you wait, the more you will end up paying. At the same time, any delays could lead to leaks which can promote rot and mold outbreaks that add thousands of dollars to your repair costs. 

At A to Z Roofing, we always do our best to maximize affordability. While we can’t guarantee that lumber prices will fall anytime soon; we can guarantee that our prices are some of the most competitive in all of Colorado. We can also guarantee that our skilled roofing experts will provide you with quality work that stands the test of time. 

When it comes to investing in a new roof, you want to make sure you get your money’s worth. At A to Z, we make sure you get optimal value for every dollar you spend on the first line of defense for your home.

Need a new roof for your home? A to Z is ready to help. Hoping for cost-friendly repairs for weather-related damage? We can do that too. At A to Z, we’ve developed a widespread, well-earned reputation as one of the state’s premier roofing contractors by providing expert workmanship and attentive, honest customer service. Contact us to learn more and get a free estimate.

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